LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday warned that Pakistan and India were the two nuclear-armed countries and any escalation of tensions between them could endanger the world.
Addressing the International Sikh Convention at the Punjab Governor House, the prime minister denounced the idea of war, saying that he did not believe that war could solve any problem.
“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger,” Khan said. He, however, reiterated that Pakistan would never trigger a war.
“I do not believe that war can solve any problem. Everyone who has tried to solve problems by waging war has lost, even in victory. It takes years to recover from the [war] losses.”
Imran said that the Kashmir issue could be resolved through dialogue as war had never been a solution to disputes. He reiterated that he would continue to raise his voice for the people of Indian-Occupied Kashmir, who have been under a restrictive lockdown for the past 27 days.
The prime minister lamented that his overtures for peace had been dismissed by the Indian government. “Ever since I took office, I have offered dialogue to India,” he said, adding that Delhi always imposed a raft of conditions.
Drawing the audience’s attention towards ongoing human rights violations in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir, the prime minister said Kashmiris had been under curfew for last 27 days, which was unacceptable.
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said, was pursuing the very ideology that the Hindus were superior to other communities, which had led to the creation of Pakistan.
He added that the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was a threat to India, which believed in the dominance of Hindus in the country, thus targeting all the minorities there. That ideology was a threat for the Indian people, he added.
“No religion preached oppression of minorities rather all the prophets had taught humanity, compassion and justice to establish a difference between a civilised society and the wild life,” the prime minister said. He said Pakistan was building pressure to do away with that ideology and also urged the Sikhs to raise their voice against it.
Facilities to Sikh pilgrims
The prime minister said that the government would facilitate the Sikh pilgrims and ease out all the processes for them, besides uplifting their shrines in different cities. He added the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Naka would be celebrated with full zeal along with the Sikh community.
He announced that the government would issue multiple and on-arrival visas to the Sikh community and provide them maximum possible facilities during pilgrimage to their holy sites in Pakistan.
“I assure that you will be issued multiple visa… This is our responsibility. We will facilitate you, rather will give you visa at airport. (We) will give you multiple visas to facilitate your journey to and from India,” he said.
The prime minister said after coming to power, his government realised the difficulties faced by the foreigners to get the Pakistani visa. “Though our government has changed the visa regime, the mindset of creating hurdles will gradually diminish,” he added.
He said the region was sitting on a ticking bomb of climate change as the glaciers were melting which could have dangerous repercussions for the future generations, and called for joint efforts to counter the challenge.
The moot was attended by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, federal and provincial cabinet members, and Sikh pilgrims from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries.
(With inputs from APP)